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How do you protect the rainforests?

Assaf Rosenthal has a simple answer - give the forest residents rights and guarantee that they will have an interest in preserving the forests


Deforestation / destruction of forests "contributes" to 20% of total greenhouse gas emissions, a figure that stimulates initiatives and activity in an attempt to reduce deforestation.

The representatives of the European Union announced their intention to reduce emissions by activities to prevent deforestation and illegal trade in forest products. The UN has a program called "Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). The core of the program is based on On "carbon credits" according to the Kyoto Convention, governments will receive payment for forest conservation and for afforestation of areas where natural forests have been created, but some argue that the payments will not be directed in the right directions.

The primary goal is to preserve the forest, its environment and its inhabitants, including the human inhabitants, those who know the forest better, live from its resources in a long tradition, therefore for them the forest is a home that is important to preserve. Therefore, the most suitable to be the guardians of the forest are its human inhabitants, in order for them to be able to fulfill the role of guardians, they need several conditions, where the two most important and primary conditions are: official and recognized ownership of the forest in which they live, and positive incentives to preserve the resources in their surroundings - to keep, not to sell.

Ownership is given by the state which today prefers to sell concessions to logging companies without environmental or human consideration. Incentives must replace the "development" provided by exploitative logging companies.

The incentives include improving living conditions by establishing health and education centers, the possibility of access to drinking water, limited accessibility to urban centers (limited to prevent the forest from being flooded with foreign "entrepreneurs"). Incentives mean money, since the countries where the forests are located have no interest in financing what is necessary, hence the task falls on developed countries, these are also the major consumers of the harvested forest resources, and therefore the consumer authorities must mitigate the harmful consumption by financing the incentives for the forest residents, financing that will be done through Kyoto Convention, meaning carbon dioxide emitters will buy emission rights from the forest dwellers, part of the payment will be directed to the state to finance the ownership procedures.

Most of the funding will go directly to the residents of the forest.

Studies have shown that the financial cost involved in giving property rights to the forest dwellers is much lower than the cost of the UN program. According to the research conducted by the Rights and Resources Initiative, and presented at the "Forest and Climate" conference in Oslo, the cost of the procedures for granting rights to the natives is about 350 dollars per square meter, when this includes explaining the need for the procedure to the natives, solving local frictions, measurements, Registration and all legal actions.

Compared to the cost of the UN program, the cost is ten times greater (according to the researchers, $3500 per square kilometer each year).

Some time ago I wrote about the relationship between the forest dwellers and wild hunters, "when foreign companies penetrate the forests, the loggers open up possibilities of passage and increase the demand for game meat, naturally the hunters are those who were the original forest dwellers, their livelihood and their traditional way of life are harmed and they must find new ways to exist, the right way to neutralize the damage caused by the wild hunter is to neutralize the need, that is, to provide an alternative source of meat."

But there is another way or actually a first way, neutralizing the effects of logging companies on a change in the traditional way of life of the forest dwellers. The "neutralization" can be done in two ways. After the forest has already been cut down, it is necessary to replant it, a planting that will be carried out by those natives who lived and still live in the area. The planting and renewal of the forest that most days will restore the environment (at least partially) to its former vitality, that is, among other things, will allow the natives to continue living and sustaining themselves from the forest as before the intrusion of the loggers.

The first way is the obvious one... simply... preventing activity in the field from foreign logging companies. Just write but how do you perform? How do you prevent foreign companies from entering forest areas in general and forest areas where indigenous populations live?

In order to realize the protection of the forest and the people living in it, the people living in it must be given rights, rights that in any other place and situation are taken for granted, property rights. Indigenous tribes in different areas of the Amazon basin, tribes in the forests of Indonesia, pygmy tribes in the forests of Central Africa, these and others are entitled to ownership of their place of residence, meaning that the ownership of the forest dwellers on the areas where they live must be recognized.

For the logging companies, most of which are Western-owned, as well as for the rulers of countries where the companies operate, granting such rights is not self-evident, since for them the inhabitants of the forest are, at best, "class D citizens", and when the authorities measure the immediate profit that will be received from royalties against concepts such as human rights, Protecting the environment, preserving nature, in most cases the immediate profit wins. The natives, nature, the environment, lose, of course most days it turns out that the loss is inclusive, but by then the government has already changed and the new rulers also only see to the end of their nose/rule.

Considering the fact that the forest dwellers know the forest better than anyone and wish to preserve it as a sustainable resource, there are no better than them to guard and preserve, so that they can fulfill the task they have to be the qualified owners of their environment.

3 תגובות

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